Migraine Triggers

Migraines are headaches on steroids. They cause intense pain, light and noise sensitivity, and can cause nausea and vomiting. They can be so debilitating work days are lost.
There are many remedies for these headaches, ranging from herbal remedies to strong prescription medications. Even with these preparations, headaches may still occur. One way to make them as few as possible is to know your personal triggers. These triggers may differ from person to person, so the following list may give you a place to start.

Caffeine:

Many people will find that any form of caffeine can cause this medical condition to rear its ugly head. Coffee, tea, cola drinks and even chocolate may contain caffeine. Some medications, energy drinks and weight loss products do as well. It’s a good idea to read the ingredients label of these products before purchasing, in order to avoid the problem. One word of warning; if you take in a lot of caffeine, cut back gradually as going cold turkey will cause a headache just as intense.

Foods:

There are many foods on the trigger list, and you may be able to tolerate some, in small amounts. Aged cheese, dark or milk chocolate, foods with tyramine, msg and soy products are likely to be causes. Be especially wary of veggie burgers, as they are likely to have both soy and msg. Also, be aware that these labels do not always list msg, even if it is in there.

Hormones:

This may be why soy is a trigger, as it is high in phyto-estrogen. Changes in hormone levels, particularly during perimenopause and menopause can be a major activator. It would be a good idea to talk to your doctor and find out if hormone replacement therapy is right for you. There are risk factors to choosing this method of dealing with the problem, so ask as many questions as you can.

Injuries:

Both head injuries and injuries to the upper spine can cause you to develop migraines, even if you never had them before. They may not start immediately after the injury, and the injury doesn’t have to be life threatening. There are a few treatments available, so speak to your doctor.

Lights:

Several different lighting conditions can cause you problems. Bright lights, sunlight and strobe lights can all cause you problems, though you may not have problems with all three. Special glasses could help prevent the problem. Your eye doctor may be your best bet here.

Medications:

Yes, your medication may be causing that headache. Both migraines and regular headaches can cause head pain. If you have problems after starting a new medication, speak with your doctor to find out if there is another medication that does the same job without the accompanying pain.

Noise:

Not only can noise deafen you, it can also trigger this medical condition. Noise protection such as the type of headphones used on the shooting range could help if you know you need to be in a noisy environment.

Weather:

Changes in barometric pressure, extremes in temperature and high humidity are often associated with this medical condition. There’s not much you can do about this, other than move to an arid location, which has fewer problems with the weather. A good dehumidifier and air conditioning may also be helpful.

Your Teeth:

This connection is probably under reported. Dentists aren’t usually told about the headaches and doctors don’t usually examine teeth. Splints, braces and other orthodontic treatments could provide relief.
Finding out what causes you to be stricken with yet another round of pain could help make these less frequent visitors. Discuss this with your doctor, ophthalmologist, and dentist in order to find the best solution for you.